Ukrainian combat soldiers add new tools to the toolbox

Ukrainian Armed Forces students and Canadian instructors of JTF–Ukraine attach chains to a rolled over vehicle during recovery training.

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Fifteen combat support soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) recently graduated from an 11-day ‘Train the Trainer’ course instructed by Canadian Armed Forces members in Starychi, Ukraine.

A small graduation ceremony was held at the International Peacekeeping and Security Centre to mark the completion of the logistics modernization course, only the second of its kind to be delivered by Canadian Armed Forces members on Operation UNIFIER.

The course was split into two distinct week-long modules covering key combat service support topics—convoy operations and vehicle recovery—and was followed by an additional day of supply training. The goal of a Train the Trainer course is to further develop an instructor corps within the UAF so that the course material can trickle down– resulting in a far larger final audience than direct instruction.

“While some of the students have significant experience in dealing with logistics challenges, we were able to demonstrate to them how Canadians tackle those problems,” said Master Warrant Officer Scott Fieldsend, Sergeant Major of Joint Task Force-Ukraine (JTF-U) Logistics Training.

“For example, when it comes to vehicle recovery, Ukrainians tend to use a ‘self-recovery’ method – that is, to use the current tools available (like the winch on the disabled vehicle itself) to get a vehicle back on the road,” said MWO Fieldsend. “Canadians will often call for a wrecker to aid in the recovery. Both methods have pros and cons, but by sharing our way, we give them a few more tools in their toolbox.”

The training audience included both officers and non-commissioned members, the vast majority of whom are currently employed as teachers and instructors in the UAF.

“Certainly, I will look to pass on some of the new knowledge and techniques to my students,” said Senior Lieutenant Romanenko, a graduate of the course and an instructor at the 184th Training Centre. “As well, I will be recommending courses like this to my instructor colleagues so that they may broaden their knowledge base.”

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